Posted in TV Stuff, Uncategorized

Lucky Number 7 Part 2

Part 1 is here

It took me a while after finishing season one, before I could start watching season two, for reasons that can be considered quite obvious if you know what happened in November. But once I had got back into the swing of things, I was once again hooked. Was this out of appreciation for the quality of the show? Or the cultural rubbernecking of watching a pretty naff production? I genuinely can’t decide, but I have enjoyed this show again.

Cast:

Roj Blake –  Gareth Thomas

Kerr Avon –  Paul Darrow

Jenna Stannis   – Sally Knyvette

Vila Restal–  Michael Keating

Cally  –  Jan Chappel

Oleg Gan -David Jackson

Zen/ Orac – Peter Tuddenham

Servalan – Jacqueline Pearce

Travis -Brian Croucher

Debuting on 9th Jan 1979 (40 years before I watched it) Redemption opened the season with the builders of the Liberator coming back to retrieve it, giving us new villains in the System. After this it was back to war on the Federation, personified by Supreme Commander Servalan and her attack dog Travis, this time played by a different actor in a very Darren from Bewitched kind of way. We also get new outfits  and Orac gets a more prominent role. To be honest, the whole thing gets a upgrade in terms of writing and in places performances. We get more nuance from the team who waver in their support of Blake, especially when halfway through the season their mission and Blake’s single-minded fanatacism gets Gan killed. Blake has to pick himself back up and the team at times shows signs of cracking apart.

Travis also gets more screen time as he pivots from fugitive to secret weapon to fugitive again and we see his and Blake’s singlemindedness do nothing but harm to them. Blake and Avon also butt heads more as Avon tires of the idealism that threatens to decend into bloody revolution. The season leads us closer to the idea that Blake isn’t the hero that he makes himself out to be and he becomes more and more comfortable with the idea that the Federation isn’t going down without a whole lot of innocent people being killed.

We still have the problems with pacing, lack of decent fight choreography and bizarre directing choices and there’s more than a few racially insensitive moments, but by and large this show stands up better in it’s second season that it ever did in it’s first. The whole thing comes to a head with it’s final episode Star One, which saw the departure of more than one member of the cast.

The season ends on something of a cliff-hanger, with the crew forced to abandon their plan to cripple the Federation, when it becomes apparent that they need it intact to deal with an even greater threat as an external threat looms over the whole galaxy.

Much like the first season, this is a uneven affair. The actors for the most part give it their all, with Paul Darrow trying to out arch everyone and Jacqueline Pearce looking very slender for someone feasting so heavily on the scenery. It’s a better season as the show starts to shape itself into something new and hopefully better.

I enjoyed it better than the first one and am now a lot more invested in it, I’m hoping that’s a good thing?

Season three is next, wish me luck.

 

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Posted in Uncategorized

Stargate SG-1: In which we learn that the Egyptian gods liked a bit of bush.

Post 3 from Pilot Era

Pilot Era

stargate.jpg.1379276374763.jpgFirst aired: 21 July 1997

Cast:

Richard Dean Anderson Col. Jack O’Neill

Michael Shanks Dr. Daniel Jackson

Amanda Tapping Capt. Samantha Carter

Don. S. Davies Gen. George Hammond

Christopher Judge Teal’c

Alexis Cruz Skaara

Peter Williams Apophis

Brent Stait Lois Feretti

Jay Acovone Maj. Charles Kowalsky

Roberts Wisden Col. Samuels

Vaitiare Bandera Sha’re

Plot: The events on the Abydos mission (portrayed in the Stargate movie) have left the Stargate project mothballed and the gate itself is guarded by 6 bored US Air Force soldiers. One day during a poker game, the chevrons on the gate light up and the portal opens with the same water-like surge. Through it comes a sphere which seems to scan the area before and shock-wave from it knocks the soldiers off their feet. Before they can get back on their feet six figures in grey armour with snake helmets emerge, surrounding a seventh, dressed in…

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Posted in Miscellaneous, The MIGHTY Rosie, Uncategorized

Who’s a good girl?

After the tragedy of losing Wilma the WTF dog, it became quite apparent that our family was now one that had a dog as part of it and that there would be no getting back to normal, without one. A few weeks after that realisation, the MIGHTY Rosie began perusing a re-homing website, on the idea that we would be getting a dog at some point. She saw this collie/retriever cross and just had to, since she had a similar dog once herself. There were no red-flags when we spoke to the people in question, several times in fact. But when we arranged to go get the dog, there were all kinds of things wrong, there was no mess, not a thing out of place (with a puppy in the house? ) and all the toys for this 8 week old dog were distinctly unchewed and it seemed to live only in the kitchen. None of these things are that suspicious, but when the MIGHTY Rosie went to pick this little puppy up, she leapt into her arms, as if trying to escape. This wasn’t a dog being taken to a new home, which we had dealt with before, this was a dog grateful for being saved. After a trip to the vet and a couple of eyebrow raising reactions from the dog we all came to the understanding she was from a puppy farm and she had not really been taken care of.

Whenever we gave her food (special food, since being a puppy farm survivor she hadn’t really a great digestive system) she wolfed it down, as though she didn’t expect to be fed later. Kind of getting angry as I write that down to be perfectly honest. Still, we bonded pretty much immediately and she quickly became a member of our family. We got a bit of an all clear from the vets over Christmas, our original plan was to not tell SuperSam that we were keeping her, in case there were some medical things that came to light. It was for the best, since we were all devastated by the loss of Wilma the WTF dog. So with the all-clear given, we left a scroll in the Christmas tree with a request for her to stay with us for SuperSam to read. The moment when he realised we were keeping the new dog may be the best moment we had at Christmas this year.

Well we’re now walking her, training her and from time to time spoiling her. We’re a family that has a dog and we were never going to go back to the way it was before. So my mornings and lunchtimes consist of bites and clean-ups and also someone being happy to see me when I get home. I get out of work and walk home to her at lunch, I walk her at night and as a family we are happier that she is there.

So much of this blog can be negative in the personal stuff I write, but now with the dozy 4 legged wonder at home, well it’s a happier start to the year. And we’ve been able to take a scared and malnourished puppy into a happy little dog who can sit and cuddle and also have her mad half hour of chasing nothing.

As for her name, it was apparently supposed to be Rosey, but we have only ever called her Lottie (Short for Charlotte) and now she’s home, home is a little brighter.

It’s a fact that took me till my 40’s to learn, but dogs make life better.

Posted in Mental Health Struggles, Miscellaneous

Blue Monday

Well internet people, Blue Monday again and the most ‘depressing’ day of the year is off to a cracking start.

After feeling pleased at the fact that our dog hadn’t broken another set of headphones, it turned out she actually had, since now they no longer charge. I’m going back to buying the cheap £4 off the internet, since buying nicer ones is a false economy, for reasons I am unable to do that just now, this is not an insurmountable obstacle to life, it’s still a frustrating start to a Monday. Rushing into work, I’ve been half productive and half not and the temptation to give in to the miserable weather, no money, stress at work and a less than relaxing weekend and feel down on this ‘bluest’ of Mondays.

But I am not going to. Is it miserable weather? Yes, but this is England, when isn’t it? Is the extra week before being paid make it feel like a longer month? Yes, but that’s hardly reason to panic. Is work stressful? Yes, but not as bad as December. Was it a less than relaxing weekend? Yes, but I spent it with my loved ones and there were moments of happy there. Playing Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 with the MIGHTY Rosie, Super Sam wanted to watch the 1980 camp classic Flash Gordon yesterday morning (Which we did) and some times of all of us listening to music and being happy together.

So am not going to wallow, am going to go on my lunch, go home and when I come back to the office, will attack the day and get some stuff done. This is Blue Monday, but blue is the colour of my true love’s eyes, the skies over Crete and Salou and the waters in the best places to swim.  Blue holds no fear for me, I will be alright and you know what internet person reading this? So will you. If this is a Blue Monday for you, realise that it’s upwards from here. It will get better, it will be brighter and it’s only Monday once a week. After that, it’s closer to the weekend.

This was not a great start to the week, but it didn’t have to be, all you need is one positive about the day and you’ll have that at least.

TTFN Internet people, I’ve got a day to get back on  track.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Cougar Town: In which we learn that 40 is the new 20, but crazy is timeless.

Week 2 of my new blog

Pilot Era

First aired: 23rd September 2009

Cast:

Courtney Cox Jules Kiki Cobb

Christa Miller Ellie Torres

Busy Phillipps Laurie Keller

Dan Byrd Travis Cobb

Brian Van Holt Bobby Cobb

Ian Gomez Andy Torres

Josh Hopkins Grayson Ellis

Plot: Jules Cobb is a recently divorced 40 year old estate agent. The episode starts with her watching the local high school football team (the Cougars) with her 20 something friend/assistant Laurie and her 17 year old son Travis. Jules is lonely and wants to get back out there, eyeing up younger men, while her son eyerolls. She goes home and the next morning vents to her next door neighbour/best friend Ellie before watching her neighbour across the way (also 40 something and recently divorced) Grayson as he waltzes his latest college-aged conquest to her cab ride home. There’s some banter between the two and a quick visit from her former golf pro…

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Posted in Uncategorized

The Journey Begins: In which we learn that I have watched a LOT of TV, seriously a LOT!

This is a new site I have been doing, quite curious to see how it goes.

Pilot Era

I am and always have been a comic fan, I am currently writing 2 or 3 blogs which state that fact quite eloquently. But as a man who was born into a nation with 3 channels that has watched it grow into 300+, I am just as much a TV guy. I have watched a lot of TV in my life and I have enjoyed that almost as much. Finding that hidden gem, or that series that you get and few others do, that sharing of something you love with someone and watching them get it, or howl with laughter as a sense of humour you thought was foreign to everyone but you, is something that you share. I like that, TV is something you can share with someone. With busy lives, lots to do and a son to raise, often there’s little that the MIGHTY Rosie and I can…

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Posted in Mental Health Struggles, Miscellaneous

For me, 2019 was, well it’s been a year.

2018 has come and gone. The start of 2019 has been a mixed affair, but am trying to see it as a fresh start, because after this last year, I needed it to be.

In the world outside it was a tumultuous one, with another year of Trump and May dominating the news along with the ever escalating clusterfuck that is Brexit. So the backdrop of my 2018 was division, despair and distraction. Seemed almost fitting to be honest.

Last year I stopped my meds and ended my therapy, ending a chapter in my recovery from my breakdown. It’s now more of an issue of managing things, being able to be aware when things aren’t good and act, rather than wallowing. It’s been a year of being able to handle it when things are challenging. It’s also the year of having to handle things being challenging.

Work has proven as stressful as it ever was, only now I’m not medicated to hell and can actually experience the stress fully. It’s been too much for our small little department to cope with and we have lobbied to get another person on staff. This took 9 months and after three days, I was glad that they were off on the Thursday/Friday of their first week. The second week went almost as badly, the third was more manageable and by the following Monday, he had quit, claiming he couldn’t handle the job. That is the kind of crap my job brings me. Then there’s been all the run up to Christmas and the need to do a month’s work in a little over 2 weeks. But there’s hope, we have a new, new person who seems to be more capable and very pleasant to be around, 2018 might have been rough at work, but 2019 has started well enough to maintain that hope.

At home, things had started to look up with an increase in communication between me and the MIGHTY Rosie. Super Sam has had stuff at school to be dealt with, which we did as a team and he is as good as he ever is. The MIGHTY Rosie has had health issues to deal with as well as other struggles that are not mine to share, so I won’t do. Needless to say, there’s been stuff that’s been tough to get through.

So by the time we got to November, we’d been through a lot of stuff, but worse was to come.

2 Months ago, Wilma the WTF Dog was killed by a car.

That was hard to write to be honest, it’s why a look at 2018 has taken several weeks to write, since I knew I would have to say that. It was a car accident and over very quickly, but since all three of us saw it, it was still very traumatic and sudden. We kept our shit together for our son, who took it hard. I’m not going to say more than that, it’s not my tale to tell after all. But the loss was on a greater scale than I have ever experienced before. She was a member of our family, our little girl and her being gone tore a hole in our family. We miss her still and out of the corner of my eye is one of the best pictures we have of her. At least seeing her no longer hurts, I no longer flash to that moment constantly, though that took a long time to get there. Everyone has been great, especially those who also have dogs themselves. I was back in work the next day, one member of staff wondered how the hell I was even in work. All I got was a day off from answering calls, that’s it. To be honest it took the shine off Christmas a little and whilst I had fun, there was always a tinge of sadness that came with that. She never got another Christmas with us. We tried to get back to normal, but it’s only at that point we realised that we were a family who had a dog, there was no more normal without one.

Work became difficult as a month’s work was needed in less than three weeks and so much work had to be re-done and it was draining. Then we heard that we could get another puppy, a family had posted on a re-homing website that there was two young kids, one more on the way and no way to take care of a new puppy. No red-flags, so we got the money together after a long and intense conversation made the joint decision to rehome the dog with us.

Her name is Lottie and that is going to be another story.

2018 was a bit of an armpit of a year, but we survived, we thrived and we as a family are stronger than we have ever been before.

There’s more to tell, but to be honest, I just needed this stuff out there right now.

 

More soon internet people.

TTFN

Posted in Miscellaneous

For the Geek in me 2018 was Awesome part 3: Films

​In a ‘challenging’ year there it’s been difficult to get to the cinema as much as I would have liked and it’s meant that this was the easiest of lists to write, since I have only been the cinema about 5 times, but again, it was a quality over quantity situation.

Black Panther

A couple of years ago, I watched the film Captain America: Civil War and a couple of things kind of impressed me, sadly neither was Captain America, nor the Civil War plot. Those two things are Spider-Man and T’Challa, the Black Panther. Both of whom got films off the back of it. Out of those two, this was the better one. Borrowing from several points of the history of the Black Panther comics as well as a few thematic touches from Hamlet (or the Lion King) this was a film that fleshed out a fictional nation in two hours better than over 30 years of comics. There was action, more than a little humour and a villain who’s motivations where more than a little understandable. There’s no one in this film who didn’t go great work and Martin Freeman was in this. This was a MCU film that fit well within it, but didn’t really need the rest of the films to make it work. The silliest this film got was Andy Serkis’ bonkers portrayal of Ulysses Klaw which was funny, without costing him menace.

This was a good film for the whole family, it’s not hard to sell this film, but if I had to all I need to say is War Rhinos.

Deadpool 2

 

Couple of years ago there was some ‘leaked’ internet footage of a Deadpool test with Ryan Reynolds in  comics faithful Deadpool costume, this caused the net to go nuts. I saw that and hoped that it’d lead to a half decent version of the Merc with a Mouth, getting to the big screen (I am NOT counting X-Men Origins Wolverine) and was quietly optimistic. Then Deadpool came out in Feb 2016 and not only did it not disappoint, it was the perfect comic book movie. It was it’s own thing, rather than a direct adaptation, but it was very much faithful to the spirit of the character. Then at the end, in a homage to Ferris Bueller Deadpool mentioned that in a sequel, they would get Cable. As a big 90’s comic mark, I loved Cable at the time and still appreciate much of the more recent appearances. When Josh Brolin was cast, I was equally optimistic. Even more so, when they mentioned Domino and other members of X-Force would be in the film too. So when I saw the second film? Vindicated. Reynolds was as excellent as ever and the rest of the cast stepped up to join him. This was again an original story that hung together on the strength of it’s action, heart and comedy. I don’t know if this was as good as the first, but I really enjoyed it and bought the Bu-Ray as soon as it came out, highly recommended.

The Christmas Chronicles

I haven’t been as Christmassy as I wanted to be this year (more on that on another post) and found that apart from the traditional three films at Christmas (Lethal Weapon for the MIGHTY Rosie, Arthur Christmas for SuperSam and Die Hard for me) I haven’t really been into anything Christmassy until my sister in law (who I shall refer to as CrazyOwl) recommended this to the MIGHTY Rosie & I. This film was a usual schmaltzy holiday tale with one thing different. There was no jolly and vuncular Santa with a spare tyre and fluffy coat, this was Kurt Russell as a Santa of Action. It had a musical number, a car chase and more than a couple of surprises and was exactly what the doctor ordered, because I felt as Christmassy as hell when it was done and we all watched it three times. Even if you are not a fan of the holiday TV movie genre, this was so well done that it stood on its own as a good film. Cannot recommend this enough.

Avengers: Infinity War

 

One of the best things about comics and yet also the worst thing about comics are the ‘events’. Big comic book crossovers with lots of tie-ins, larger than life stories and this year, Marvel put one on the big screen. It had funny moments, dramatic moments and even genuinely touching ones. Everyone was on form and I mean everyone, with a cast of over 20 principle protagonists and Josh Brolin acting his way through CGI as a more sympathetic Thanos. It was full of quotable lines, awesome set pieces and twists and turns, just like a 90’s event shoud be. This was the culmination of what the MCU has been building towards for the last 10 years and 20 films and it was worth waiting for. The only reason I didn’t put this at the end was two fold: One – this is only part one of a two-part film series and it looked like it. Two – It wasn’t the last film I saw this year that was…

Aquaman

 

My first X-Men comic of the 90’s was X-Factor 70, written by Peter David. I followed David through his run on X-Factor, till he flew off to DC. At DC he was given the less than stellar character of Aquaman. I found this comic by accident, mistaking it for the Tom Grummett drawn Superboy comic of that era. Far from the ineffectual Superfriends-esque man who talks to fish and little else, David’s Aquaman was brash, a bit cocky and far from being the friendly hero of the past. In issue 2, he lost his hand and from there, became more of a barbarian king than a super-hero. He grew out his hair, grew a beard and wore less clothes than before. I loved this Aquaman, who took no shit and kicked several kinds of ass. Then there were several retcons and reboots and we get a retro-modern Aquaman with the lighthouse dad and royal mum and the yellow and green, short back and sides look. When DC began expanding it’s movie characters beyond Batman, they cast Jason Momoa as Aquaman. Fresh of his time as Conan the Barbarian and a year on Games of Thrones as Kahl Drogo, Momoa was ideal as the 90’s Aquaman and it became clear that this was the reto-origin version, with touches of the more extreme version of the 90’s and in Justice League, Momoa nailed it. He was gruff and dismissive of Batman and brash and gung-ho in battle and when I heard that there would be a film, I was actually excited. Okay, lets repeat that, excited about an Aquaman film.

So me and the MIGHTY Rosie got the posh seats at the cinema and watched it on a rare Saturday morning together and you know what, despite my high expectations, this was better than I could have hoped. Momoa in comfortable in the role and is clearly having a lot of fun. Amber heard is … there as is NIcole Kidman and we get some half decent supporting cast work. The only thing that did strike me was how anyone would cast Willem Dafoe as the caring mentor character is somewhat surprising. I spent the whole film waiting for him to turn and be revealed as another badguy. The effects are amazing and the action sequences are as exciting as CGI can make them. This was a big blockbuster film that really hit the spot and I left the cinema eager to watch this film again.

Well that’s that for another year. With another Avengers film, Captain Marvel, the other Captain Marvel and Detective Pikachu. It looks like 2019 will get me back to the cinema even more than this year.